Realbook On-line

Aloha guys,

This one’s for the jazzers among us.
Let’s hope it lasts.

When I first joined the musicians union, you could lose your
card for owning a ‘realbook’.


Nice one curteye.

Wow, what local was that?

Toronto Musicians Assc, Local 149.


Ooooh…Nice! I have the iPad app.

That’s an amazing prohibition. What was the (un)reasoning?

never leave home without it! But, to be able to do it via tablet will be cool.

Wouldn’t it be because the creators of the original Real Book used all that copyright material without permission or payment? – The later Hal Leonard version (“Sixth Edition”) was legal.

BTW, I was told (late 1980s) that the name came about because many of the “fake books” available when it was created had errors, and the “Real” Book was thought to be without errors (which it isn’t). (That might not, of course be the reason at all.)

The same person also said people went to prison over the copyright violation - I don’t know whether that’s true.

I got the impression that owning a (pre-legal) Real Book was seen amongst some owners as almost a badge of beloningness/brotherhood, where the fact that it wasn’t a legal book intensified that aspect.

I wonder whether the website is also using the material illegally.

Hm. There are some fake books here in Chicago that were never published and are unknown. A bass player I play with, a Chicago cat who is 71 years old (still playing out 5 plus nights a week) put some tines from it on the bandstand the last week, I’d never seen it before. Don’t know if anyone ever sold it or just shared among players. It was computer typeset, so it’s from the 90s. I also have a few mimeographed books from the 50s and 60s. It’s a cool community thing.

There was one contractor here who made you buy HIS 50 tune fakebook, supposedly the Society tunes you would need if you wanted to play his strolling gigs. (I’m a violinist) It was photocopies of other fakebooks. Said contractor has not been heard from for awhile. :sunglasses:

Here’s a bit I found in the search I just did about the origins of fake books at Berklee. Interesting.

That’s weird that a musicians union would protect publishers, if that’s what it was.

I do own that old 5th edition book, I bought it in the back of a music store in '91. It’s in tatters now.

While we’re in and around the subject of fake books and the like, here’s an index that lets you find which books contain a particular song. (And you could use the tick boxes to make it search just the ones you have.)

I once made a “master index” of several fake books that I had. Mostly, this involved OCR-ing indexes from the individual books and combining them in Excel. (Some indexes I was able to get from the internet.) Naturally, the OCR-ing wasn’t always accurate, so it all had to be checked carefully. But even with those errors removed, there were difficulties because the same song often appeared with slightly different names in the different books. A lot more trouble than I expected before I started.

I posted my sixth edition, specifically because it is licensed. I have others of a possibly more dubious origin. And, the transcriptions do differ between them. But, primarily they tend to be in different keys between books. The melody will be intact, just transposed.

Fake books have been around for a long long long time. I think it is one of the reasons the royalties were so difficult to establish back in the day. If a guy is playing in a club, and someone tells him the progression and he jots down the changes, does he owe a royalty? If he has a collection of those and he gives them to a friend to copy, is that when it crosses the line? Or, is it just when a 3rd party collects them together and tries to sell them? It’s really a tricky issue. I’m not defending one way or the other. I just don’t think it is a simple thing to resolve.

Yes, pretty difficult.

I don’t know if they still do it but when I used to live in France you had to write your set list into a log.This was at regular jazz clubs like St Eustache, not bars where they had music occasionally.

Wayne is a busy guy!!!

26 songs by Wayne Shorter
18 Chick Corea
16 Duke Ellington
16 Steve Swallow
15 John Coltrane
14 Miles Davis
13 Rodgers & Hart
12 Jobim
12 Keith Jarrett
11 Charles Mingus
11 Michael Gibbs
10 Carla Bley
8 Charlie Parker
8 Pat Metheny
7 Bill Evans
7 Thelonious Monk
6 Cole Porter
6 Herbie Hancock
6 Steve Kuhn
5 Joe Henderson
4 Dizzy Gillespie
4 John Lewis
3 Billy Strayhorn
3 Bobby Hutcherson
3 Dave Brubeck
3 Dave Holland
3 Frank Zappa
3 Freddie Hubbard
3 Gary Burton
3 Horace Silver
3 Richard Niles
3 Sonny Rollins
3 Stevie Wonder
3 Stu Balcomb
3 Vernon Duke
2 Benny Golson
2 Charles Lloyd
2 Clifford Brown
2 Frank Loesser
2 Gary McFarland
2 George Gershwin
2 George Shearing
2 Joe Farrell
2 Joe Zawinul
2 Kaper & Washington
2 Keith Jerrett
2 Lee Morgan
2 Lennon & McCartney
2 Mahavishnu Orchestra
2 McCoy Tyner
2 Ornette Coleman
2 Ralph Towner
2 Roland Kirk
2 Van Heusen & Burke
2 Warren & Gordon
2 Wes Montgomery
2 Victor Young

and yes I’m on an M$ Ecel trip right now haha! :laughing:
Took me three minutes to purge and sort.
Excel is an excellent program.

Back to the Real Book world. I have an orange Real Book from ca~ 1986 which helped me (in addition to Ted Green’s Chord Chemistry) to convert from a strict rocker to a fake jazz nut for 3 years, enough to have rubbed off some really usefull knowledge. I doubt there are 480+ song in my old book. So now it’s on the web … :sunglasses:

Is it just me, or does this strike anyone else as piracy? I looked at a few of those charts, they’re the exact same ones as in my published RealBook

Maybe I should import them ASAP? :laughing:

No it’s not just you - as I said in my first post on this thread:


This cost me £6 but I think it’s worth it…

iRealb, Totally worth it. I use it all the time.